Organisers of a US-themed child beauty pageant have signalled their intention to stage up to four more in Ireland next year, despite suffering a public backlash leading up to their first-ever Irish event at the weekend.
Plans by Texas-based Universal Royalty to host last Saturday’s pageant were thrown into chaos when a sudden cancellation by the management of their first-choice hotel, the four-star Bracken Court hotel in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.
A statement released by the hotel said Universal Royalty “did not identify the true nature of the event” which was “not in keeping” with the family ethos of the business- a decision which was warmly welcomed by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Pageant chiefs were forced to relocate the event, which had lost 20 families who decided to pull out, to a function room in Corrigan's Kitchen, a pub and restaurant in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
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Speaking to the Irish Examiner, University Royal Boss Annette Hill says she plans to return to Ireland next near and organize up to four more competitions.
“There’s a huge demand for children’s pageants in this country. It’s third in the world, behind America and Australia.
“And because of that I’m going to look into holding regional events here in the future in places like Cork, Galway, and Belfast, as well as Dublin.
“So my plan next year is to have between three and four pageants," she said.